Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge Review – The cutest wetland regeneration

Reviewed June 12, 2024 on PC


PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S


June 8, 2024


Armor Games Studios


Humble Reeds

When it comes to natural habitats, wetlands may not be the first thing you picture. Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge puts them front and centre with some of the cutest frogs around. As you learn the basics of wetland restoration, you create a new habitat for frogs and boost their diversity. As shown by 2024’s Wholesome Direct, it’s never been easier to learn about the importance of wetlands in our environment.

Kamaeru simplifies the wetland restoration process and adds frogs to keep you interested. By providing sources of entertainment, you can attract frogs and catalogue them for future reference. Feed them to raise their attraction and get them to stay, allowing you to use them to breed new frogs. While the UI can be inconvenient in later levels and gameplay is very easy, the charm never goes away. If you need a cute simulator that has genuine educational value, you can’t go wrong with Kamaeru.

When you feel like you need a break in your professional career, you return to your childhood home. There you reunite with your childhood friend who reminds you of the days you spent playing in the wetlands with frogs. Much has changed since then and the wetlands have slowly disappeared. But with the help of your childhood friend and the community, you revitalise the wetlands while allowing frogs to thrive.

Kamaeru doesn’t have a complex story but it doesn’t need one, drawing off the importance of simplicity. By focusing on the restoration of the frogs’ habitat, you slowly adjust to the operations and what your goals are. You are gradually introduced to the community and foreign branches at a natural pace, allowing you to remember names and faces. Some people you meet have their own motivations and ideas which you can help develop.

Kamaeru feels like a small and tight-knit community. You aren’t rapidly introduced to several characters and forget their names. There aren’t too many story threads that make things complicated. Only a simple story that lets you follow along at your own pace. While there are benefits to progressing through a story, it’s not mandatory if you want to take your time. Rushing through the game isn’t encouraged either as you miss out on what makes the game amazing.

“Seeing frogs lie down on a bed or hide behind a tent seems silly, but it endears you to them.”

Frogs are a crucial component of the game and are adorable to interact with. You can develop a frog’s habitat with toys and furniture that they play with. Seeing frogs lie down on a bed or hide behind a tent seems silly, but it endears you to them. They also come in different sizes, colours, and patterns, sparking an interest in collecting every variation you can find. A good chunk of your time is spent scouring your habitats and wetlands for frogs that you can collect.

Collecting frogs isn’t a chore, though it does involve configuring your wetlands to harvest the proper insects. But even when you start out, it’s possible to harvest enough frogs to start breeding new varieties. Taking pictures of frogs establishes their identity, letting you see what frogs you tamed or need to acquire. The frogs help the experience feel cosy, and seeing new frogs arrive with your efforts is a great motivator to keep the story going.

Even though Kamaeru focuses on wetland revitalisation and frog diversity, you have a great deal of control. You can breed certain colours first, customise the furniture you create, and even the wetland design. The ultimate goal is to catalogue every frog and create a thriving habitat, but there isn’t one right “answer”. It’s your frog refuge to do as you wish. Even deliberate sabotage of your own efforts is difficult, though you can undo aesthetic changes.

One of Kamaeru’s greatest strengths is its focus on wetlands. Wetlands are an important part of ecological diversity but this isn’t touched upon in media as much as rainforests or grasslands. By discussing the importance of wetland development and biodiversity, you realise how vital they are to our world. Even their carbon capture capabilities are discussed, making you feel that you are making a difference in the world. You might not make great changes with Kamaeru immediately, but education goes a long way towards helping people appreciate their wetlands.

Even if you aren’t a big environmentalist, it’s clear that you cannot progress in Kamaeru without making changes to the environment. The tasks are significantly easier than they are in real life, but demonstrate how hard it is to revitalise environments. It’s hard to come away from Kamaeru without caring about biodiversity, especially as you make painstaking adjustments to achieve the proper balance.

Kamaeru’s simplicity does have some downsides. There’s no one right way to develop your frog refuge or wetlands; mistakes are rare. As a result, there isn’t much challenge when it comes to keeping the refuge afloat. Funds are not difficult to acquire and you aren’t paying any rent. Kamaeru is cosy and relaxing, not demanding. There won’t be any challenges here apart from finding the right biodiversity balance, which isn’t even that hard.

Kamaeru’s tutorial is informative and the UI is great for your initial refuge. But when you start shifting to overseas operations in countries like Australia, that polished UI takes a dive. There’s no tutorial about different layouts or where you can access wildlife purchases. While it’s not opaque enough that you can’t figure it out, it does seem like the game didn’t think about different layouts. That makes you wary about shifting your location to other countries, since it’s almost like working with a new game.

Kamaeru’s flaws are minor and anyone looking for a cosy simulator will enjoy what it has to offer. The frogs are cute and you can build on their increasing diversity. There’s no rush and you can develop your frog refuge at your own pace. The educational aspect is genuinely interesting and teaches you a lot. If you ever wondered how frogs and wetlands work together for the world’s benefit, this game is for you.




  • Frogs are cute and diverse, with several combinations to hunt down
  • Information and progression is managed well, preventing confusion
  • Wetland education and diversity is presented up-front


  • There's almost no challenge with any of the activities
  • The UI in late-game areas aren't as easy to navigate

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge combines cute frogs and wetland development to create a refuge management experience you will never forget. The frogs are adorable and collecting them all is enjoyable. Customising your frog refuge and the extremely low chance of failure let you pursue your goals as you wish. While the game is not at all challenging and doesn’t have the best UI in late-game areas, it’s still fun to play. By far the cosiest frog simulator you will ever encounter, Kamaeru is perfect if you’re wondering how you can save our planet.